Thu Jan 1 2009
This mother of all music festivals, held smack in the middle of Central Park, may be the single best thing about summer in the city. As always, this year’s multiculti lineup features top acts from around the world. The venue reaches capacity quickly, with the bleacher seats filling up first, followed by prime spots on the AstroTurf. Bring a blanket to claim your space; doors open 90 minutes before showtime on weekends. Getting there can be a schlep, so try to travel light; enter the park at East 69th Street or West 72nd Street, and then just follow the noise. Subway: B, C to 72nd St; 6 to 68th St–Hunter College.
Bathrooms Portable toilets at the venue
Food Two concession stands sell beef and veggie burgers, hot dogs and drinks (including beer and wine!).
Josh Ritter and the New York Pops
Fri, Jun 12
Idaho-born guitarist and pianist Josh Ritter plays in concert with the biggest independent pops orchestra in the country. Free.
Fte de la Musique
Sun, Jun 21
As part of the extravaganza taking place internationally today, singers Yannick Noah, Coralie Clment and Mayra Andrade perform contemporary French music in a kick-back treat for the whole fam. Free.
Wed, Jul 8
Juana Molina weaves and loops recordings of her ethereal voice into each song. If your tots close their eyes, we bet they won’t believe the vocal symphony could be produced by just one performer. Free.
Global Family Day
Sun, Jul 11
Headlining is Lance Rock & Brobee of Yo Gabba Gabba, followed by Nickelodeon’s New Preschool Band. Billy B., the “Natural Science Song and Dance Man,” keeps kiddos rockin’ by teaching them how to mimic the slide of tectonic plates with “moon walking” and how to imitate leaves photosynthesizing (no joke!). Before the main stage show begins, children’s book author Iza Trapani reads from her tomes, then puppeteers from the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre will gather on the field to perform Sleeping Beauty, an updated version of the classic fairy tale. Free.
For a full schedule, visit summerstage.org